Sequencer – Spectrum – Reverb
Written by Annie Seaton
Edith Beaucage’s paintings pulsate with bright acrylic pigments at the Luis De Jesus Gallery in Culver City. This fresh and inspiring exhibition, “Sequencer – Spectrum – Reverb,” features 25 mostly small-to-medium sized paintings that interact with each other playfully. Beaucage’s world is filled with techno music surround sound.
Her abstract, gooey, melodious and loosely representational portraits of millennials are aptly titled with Euro pop names, such as Basil and Zeek, Otto in Pottsdam, Producer Bruno B and DJ Ferdy Scholk. Most portraits portray an individual, head and shoulder only, but a few of her paintings are tightly gathered groups. Her artworks vibrate through their impasto-like, seemingly wet surfaces of paper mounted on to canvas.
Beaucage’s paintings are accessible in size, most are 12 inches or less, are irregularly shaped and some are geometric. A few vertical compositions are 18 x 48 inches. One can feel her work come alive as if they are dancing around the gallery space, yet they also seem to rhythmically sway individually amongst themselves as they are hung high and low in floating clusters. Beaucage takes bold risks with her wildly brash strokes. Brilliant fuchsias, turquoises and oranges compete and yet complement each other, drawing energy against carbon blacks that evoke a certain and simultaneous chill and joy.
Hipsters sporting beards and mustaches inhabit this world on canvas. They sport beanies and pork pie hats. Multiple personality-driven works, such as Local Fluff and Super Bubble are über cool and seem to kick-back with one another, both painting to painting and within their own framed worlds.
From her thick, vibrating pink brushstrokes in Dax to the light bright canary yellow and cerulean pale blue background in Jankl Guksu, Beaucage conceptually captures the culture of today’s electronic music scene just as Modernist Stuart Davis captured the birth of funk and jazz. Like Davis, who painted compositions of his time living in New York during the birth of the Jazz age and incorporated pop symbols, such as spark plug logos from the ‘20s and ‘50s, Beaucage paints from the experiential view of today’s music festivals, such as Coachella, Burning Man and the Electric Daisy Carnival. One half expects Beaucage’s subjects to whip out their iPhones and furiously text one another or snapchat selfies when the gallery goes dark.
The Luis De Jesus Gallery consistently offers something pop, prolific, meticulously crafted and imbued with meaning. The best artworks are often in the back gallery. Edith Beaucage’s “Sequencer – Spectrum – Reverb” is sublime. It is hip–hop fresh; it is whimsy; it is, to quote Prince, a “sign o’ the times”.